Six new candidates join Kadima

Olmert will announce the names of Kadima's 50 top candidates at a rally on Tuesday.

olmert 88 (photo credit: )
olmert 88
(photo credit: )
Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert continued Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's efforts to put together Kadima's Knesset list on Sunday when six new candidates joined the list. Olmert will have to add at least 10 more names to the list in time for Tuesday's Kadima rally at the Jerusalem International Convention Center. Olmert will announce the names of Kadima's 50 top candidates in order at the rally. Kadima earned an endorsement on Sunday from Haifa mayor Yona Yahav, who joined Rishon Lezion mayor Meir Nitzan and many other mayors in the party. Yahav, who will not be on Kadima's Knesset list, is a former Labor MK who was elected mayor on the Shinui ticket. Carmiel mayor Adi Eldar, who chairs the Union of Local Authorities, turned down an offer to join the Kadima list, but has not decided whether to leave Labor. Beersheba mayor Ya'acov Turner has also been under pressure to leave Labor for Kadima. The least known of Kadima's new recruits is Yochanan Plassner, the head of special projects in the Prime Minister's Office and a former senior analyst in charge of long-term strategic planning in the American Defense Department's Office of Net Assessment. Plassner, who has a master's degree in public policy from Harvard's Kennedy School of government, founded a hi-tech company in California before returning to Israel. Two former generals joined the party: Israel Space Agency chairman Yitzhak Ben-Yisrael and former Sayeret Matkal unit commander Shai Avital. Ben-Yisrael, who has won the Israel Prize for security twice, heads the security studies department at Tel Aviv University. The other three men who joined the list on Sunday were academics at Hebrew University: former rector Prof. Menachem Ben-Sasson, psychology professor Shlomo Brezanitz and Ze'ev Elkin. Ben-Sasson and Elkin are both religious. Ben-Sasson heads the Ben-Tzvi Institute investigating Jewish communities in Asia. Elkin is a member of the Jewish Agency Board of Directors and an adviser to the agency's Director-General on Jewish education in Russian.